Dead Rising Xbox360 Review


I finally got around to buying an Xbox360 for the specific reason of enjoying some horror gaming on a console. So first off the bat I went and picked up a copy of Dead Rising to partake in some hardcore zombie ass kicking action.

Dead Rising follows the harrowing tale of Frank West, an overly zealous freelance photojournalist on a hunt for the scoopof a lifetime. In pursuit of a juicy lead, he makes his way to a small suburban town only to find that it has become overrun by zombies. He escapes to the local shopping mall, thinking it will be a bastion of safety but it turns out to be anything but. It will be a true struggle to survive the endless stream of enemies, but players will have full reign of a realistic shopping center, utilizing anything they find to fight off the flesh-hungry mob and search for the truth behind the horrendous epidemic.

I have not played a console game in easily 8 or 10 years. So needless to say I am very much out of touch with the console gaming and more specifically the controller. My first 30minutes of playing Dead Rising consisted of me running screaming around the mall trying to avoid the zombies which in George Romero style are slow moving but in such massive numbers there is no way you will last long without using your brain. Without question its great fun with a thousand different ways for you to stomp zombies but if you dont use your brain you very quickly find yourself surrounded and being torn into pieces by zombies. Whether deliberately inspired by Romero or not this game definitely reminds me of Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead. 

Dead Rising is based in a mall just like Dawn of the Dead but unlike Dawn of the Dead there is a shit-load of zombies. I do mean shit-load. Very much like Dawn of the Dead they lumber around slowly bumping into things, falling down stairs, but unlike Dawn of the Dead their are so many they at times stand shoulder to shoulder filling entire rooms.

You can easily encounter a hundred zombies in a narrow hallway and if you walk into said hallway like I did with nothing but a shovel your in for a world of hurt. Weapons are not easy to find and they dont last long. As you beat off the zombies your weapons break and in many cases you find yourself staring down a horde of zombies with nothing but a knuckle sandwich to share with them. Which is pretty much bad news.

I have only been playing for about 2 days now and really have not progressed very far. The number of zombies make movement through the mall near impossible without knowing where you need to go next. Since I am new to console games I am still wrapping my brain around the controller and as such have spent alot of time in one wing of the Mall getting my ass handed to me by the zombie hordes. Fortunately for me the section of the mall I am 'trapped' in has a hardware store. Since weapons break having a hardware store nearby means that I can go in, snag a huge sledge hammer off the shelf and start smashing some skulls.

As you level up you get more life and new skills but more importantly more inventory slots to carry more weapons. This is very important since you need to stock up on hammers, two by fours, pruning sheers and chainsaws so you can beat back the hordes of undead. The chainsaw is hilarious and loads of fun. Just be carefull you dont chop up any survivors you are escorting. I did it at least 5 times.

You can also take weapons from the undead. Kill a zombie cop and take his nightstick and gun, or go after Chef-Boyar-Zombie and get his knife. There is a ton of weapons, but none of them are traditional. You will find yourself running around the clothing stores freaking out of your mind being chased by 50 zombies and you will praise the lord when you find a sporting goods store and can get a baseball bat or hockey stick to lay down some zombie beatings.

The game itself has various missions you must complete in order to discover the truth behind the zombie outbreak. The missions so far I have failed miserably at mainly because I have been focused on retrieving survivors from around the mall and attempting to get them to safety in the 'security room' of the mall. Survivors are interesting because you can feed them, give them weapons and give them orders. On the flip side you need to keep them alive to get points and level up and that is no easy task. Some of the survivors are injured and require you to carry them around which makes for an interesting challenge. I spent the better part of 2 hours with 5 survivors following me and one on my back piggy back. At the end of the day I did get them to the security room but in the process I killed 1,056 zombies and ran out of weapons and nearly got killed myself at least 20 times. The survivors are all over the mall barricaded in rooms and in some cases hanging on for dear life just waiting for you to save them.

One of my peeves with the game is the dirt-poor AI system the survivors use. They get stuck all the time in the stupidest of spots and when it comes to fighting the zombies they are more likely to kill you and each other then a zombie. Although the zombie AI is pretty good the survivors AI is simply put... piss poor.

Dead Rising is a zombie game with lots of carnage, lots of interesting weapons and as you have probably heard just about anything can be turned into a weapon. On top of zombies you get to deal with a whack of folks who have basically gone mental. A religious group has taken over part of the mall and are sacrificing people. A crazy clown has taken over the amusement park and a Vietnam war Vet has gone loco in the supermarket.. just to name a few. There are a ton of rescue missions you can take on as well as sub-stories. The fun part is you can also just do nothing at all. You can ignore the folks who need saving, ignore the storyline and just tear ass around the mall smashing zombies by the thousands.

Overall Dead Rising is a fun game, a tough game and well worth buying for those of you who own an xbox360. If you like me are thinking about buying an Xbox360 to play Dead Rising you wont be dissapointed.

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